Reviews of the book
"Americans tired of both Republican and Democratic bromides will find much to think about in this collection of centrist thinking." - Morris P. Fiorina, author of Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America
"In a polarized age, it is increasingly hard for moderate voices to find a platform. These essays from the thoughtful center help us to understand the sources of this democratic challenge, and also help to provide a remedy. A welcome and illuminating collection." - Jeffrey Rosen, author of The Unwanted Gaze and The Naked Crowd
Is America condemned to be a polarized nation, hopelessly divided between red and blue states, conservative and liberal, coast and heartland?
In Uniting America, some of the countrys most prominent social thinkersamong them Francis Fukuyama, Daniel Yankelovich, Amitai Etzioni, Alan Wolfe, Uwe Reinhardt, Peter Schuck and Thomas E. Mannreject the myth of polarization. On topics ranging from the war on terrorism, health care, economic policy, and Social Security to religion, diversity, and immigration, the authors argue that there are sensible, centrist solutions that are more in keeping with prevailing public sentiment and that would better serve the national interest. On issue after issue, the authors show how the conventional framing of the debate in Washington has misled Americans, creating a series of false dilemmas and forcing choices between two extremesat the expense of more balanced and pragmatic policy solutions based on enduring American values.
Uniting America provides a blueprint for a fresh approach to American politics, grounded in moderation, pragmatism, and the shared values that unite Americans.
Yale University Press (2006)
Available Dec 12, 2005
304 p., 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Reviews of the book
"Profit with Honor is an extraordinary book. Dan Yankelovich not only identifies the reasons why some of America's best known corporations went wrong, but more importantly provides a road map for all corporations to help society, improve their image, and avoid the sins of the past. Must reading for all CEOs and Boards of Directors." - Jack D. Rehm, Chairman (retired), Meredith Corporation
"This is the one book that every Chairman and CEO must read this year. With an extraordinary background as social scientist and board member, Dan Yankelovich lays out what we must do to address public mistrust of the corporation." - Ged Davis, World Economic Forum
In Profit With Honor Daniel Yankelovich takes us to the future frontiers of global capitalism, showing how companies can regain the trust of society while enhancing their earnings at the same time. He has written a short, engaging book with a very big and important idea. It should be widely read and debated by business leaders and the shareholders, employees, customers, regulators and other constituencies with whom they interact. - Jeffrey E. Garten, Juan Trippe Professor of International Trade, Finance and Business, Yale School of Management, and author of The Politics of Fortune: A New Agenda for Business Leaders
"Based on insights gained from decades of in-depth public opinion studies, Yankelovich has marshaled compelling data documenting the decline in public trust in major institutions such as government, business, medicine, and the media. In an effort to reverse this dangerous decline, he focuses on corporations that he believes must take the lead in advocating 'stewardship ethics' as the next phase in the evolution of the corporation for the well being of both business and society." - Dorothy Zinberg, Harvard University
How can the recent scandals in corporate America provide the incentiveand momentumto develop a new ethic of stewardship in business?
This wise and optimistic book examines the rampant scandals that plague American corporations today and shows how companies can reverse the resulting climate of mistrust. By seizing the opportunity to address some of the nationsand the worldsmost serious problems, business can strengthen its reputation for integrity and service and advance to a new stage of ethical legitimacy. Daniel Yankelovich, a social scientist and an experienced member of the corporate boardroom, describes the toxic convergence of cultural and business trends that has led inexorably to corporate scandals. Yet he offers reassurance that opportunity exists for positive change. Creative business leaders can advance market capitalism to its next stage of evolution, building upon business norms that simultaneously emphasize the legitimacy of profit making and the importance of the care that companies give to employees, customers, and the larger society.
The book asserts that current American business culture has abandoned its old tradition of enlightened self-interest, of doing well by doing good. A narrow legalism has taken over (I didnt break the law; therefore I didnt do anything wrong). Yankelovich argues that attempts to deal with such flawed ethical norms by means of more laws and regulations cannot succeed. He offers a series of case histories to show how and why a new corporate culture of stewardship ethics can strengthen individuals, corporations, the nation, and the world economy.
Yale University Press (2006)
Available Apr 17, 2006
160 p., 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
5 b/w illus.
Reviews of the book
We can choose to chart a wiser economic path by starting with the principles that have inspired Americans from the beginning: Sticking with fiscal discipline, rewarding hard work, investing in our people, and growing a strong middle class. In The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth, Norton Garfinkle addresses these important economic issues, issues that should be addressed at all levels of government and our society if we expect to maintain the American Dream for future generations. - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
The American Dream vs. the Gospel of Wealth: The Fight for a Productive Middle-Class Economy is the most important book I've read in years. Thoughtful, clear, readable, and insightful, it is a remarkable account of how reactionary politics and regressive supply-side economics have produced an America that is no longer working for all Americans. But this is no hand-wringing polemic. Garfinkle has identified and diagnosed the virus that has been loosed on the American Dream, but he also summons us to fight backwith the ideas and values that may yet redeem in our time the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln's vision of government "of, by, and for the people." - Bill Moyers
"This fascinating guided tour of America's past reminds us of the moral dimension of economic policy - which used to loom large, but which lately has been submerged. Garfinkle's book may help bring it back." - Alan Blinder, Princeton University, former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board
"This book is clearly written, without jargon, and Garfinkle does a very good job of linking macroeconomic arguments with their political and moral implications." - Ian Shapiro, author of The Moral Foundations of Politics
"A dramatic description of contemporary economic issues and their origin in the continuing struggle between the true American Dream inspired by Lincoln, Wilson and the two Roosevelts...and the Gospel of Wealth, identified in the 19th century with Social Darwinism and more recently with Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Reagan and George W. Bush in particular. In its intelligence, historical understanding and felicity of style, Garfinkle's eminently readable volume is in the best tradition of American historical literature." - Richard D. Heffner, Rutgers University
In recent years a clearly defined economic philosophy has taken hold in the United States--one that emphasizes supply-side tax cuts, minimal government, reduced regulation, and enhanced economic rewards for investors as the keys to prosperity.
The rise of this philosophy has coincided with the emergence of a winner-take-all economy, where the 20 percent of highest-income households in the U.S. now absorb half of the nations total yearly income, while many ordinary wage-earners experience deepening income stagnation and increased job insecurity.
This marks a sharp departure from a post-World War II U.S. economic consensus that had as its central goals the strengthening of the American middle class increasing employment and fostering equality of opportunity for all citizens. The book argues that the latter consensus provided the foundation for Americas great post World War II prosperity.
Drawing on both historical analysis and data-based research, The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth shows how Americans today confront a choice between two fundamentally different economic visions for American society--one vision based on the America Dream, which focuses on strengthening the incomes and economic security of the middle class and ordinary wage-earners without restricting the ability of successful businessmen to gain wealth-- and another vision based on the Gospel of Wealth, which seeks to ensure that the few most economically successful citizens reap maximum rewards through an increasingly regressive tax structure. Each vision claims to provide the basis for maximum economic growth and maximum benefit to all Americans.
The book traces the American Dream tradition of economic thinking through the administrations of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. It shows how a contrary Gospel of Wealth tradition developed during Americas late nineteenth-century Gilded Age, only to re-emerge in the administrations of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover, and more recently in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
The book shows how modern supply-side approaches to tax cuts have their philosophical roots in assumptions born of the Gospel of Wealth tradition of the late nineteenth century. The book also provides extensive data to show that the main premise of the Gospel of Wealth economic philosophy--that disproportionate economic rewards for the rich will trickle down to the benefit of the rest of the population--is contradicted by the historical performance of the American economy. It argues that demand-side approaches to economic policy have been consistently more successful than supply-side approaches in fostering investment, employment, and economic growth.
The American Dream vs The Gospel of Wealth argues for the clear superiority of demand-side approaches to economic policy on economic as well as moral and political grounds--and shows how a demand-side approach to the economy can work to preserve the middle-class basis of American democracy.
Reviews of the book
A startling, devastating critique of contemporary American democracy from one of the countrys most measured and respected social and political thinkers. -Thomas E. Mann
"Alan Wolfe, always a keen analyst of the American scene, presents a compelling and often passionate account of how to restore genuine democracy in America." - Howard Gardner, author of Changing Minds
"Wolfe is the most interesting public intellectual in the country. His disturbing book provides rich food for thought about the future of our polity." - Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
"Alan Wolfe argues that while the extent of American democracy has increased greatly, its quality has declined notably in recent decades. His book, Does American Democracy Still Work?, will be widely read, ardently debated, and highly influential." - Martin Shefter, Cornell University
American democracy has entered into a new era where the ground rules have fundamentally altered. No longer do economic issues mark the dividing line between left and right, as they did for decades if not centuries of our history. Rather political debate is increasingly focused on heated religious, moral, and cultural controversies.
This change, argues Alan Wolfe, is more momentous than it might appear to be at first glance. It is exerting huge strains on the structures on which we have traditionally relied to make democracy work. In particular, the new politics threatens the liberal assumptions--in the broadest sense of that term--that underpin liberal democracy.
At the center of the new politics has been the rise of a new populism of the right, promoting what Wolfe calls conservative democracy.
Conservative democracy is marked by several paradoxes. Despite the surfeit of information available to citizens in the information age, politics has become increasingly detached from the truth, with political debate being conducted more and more on the basis of artificial factoids. Politicians have succeeded in increasingly insulating themselves from real accountability through ruthless redistricting and other methods. In a populist nation, institutions--whether civil or religious--no longer exert the authority or command the reverence they once did. The value of disinterestedness--once crucial to sorting out political issues and once championed by the media--has been cast aside, in favor of a multiplicity of passionately held opinions.
Even the core value of justice--in a certain sense the central value of any polity--has become deeply controversial, as citizens view the actions of the courts entirely through an ideological lens.
While arguing that these trends work to undermine our democracy, Wolfe adds a note of hope, arguing that because the current conservative democracy is beset by contradiction and is ultimately unstable, it may yield to new developments that can restore the original character of our liberal democracy.
Reviews of the book
"A remarkable book about America's response to China, one which should change the terms of the national debate in Corporate America, Washington, and Wall Street. It is deeper than any of the policy-oriented books I have seen, totally original in its focus, and extremely well-written to boot." - Jeffrey E. Garten, Juan Trippe Professor of International Trade and Finance, Yale School of Management
Reed Hundt casts a sober and objective eye on the subject of globalization. The results are a powerful call to action. The solution he advocateschanging the culture surrounding innovationis daunting. But, as he points out, nothing less than the future of the United States is at stake. - Andy Grove, Former Chairman, Intel Corporation
"Reed Hundt offers provocative and intriguing prescriptions for America, as it faces Chinaits greatest challenge in decades. Offering a unique perspective that combines the role of law, technology, and entrepreneurship, In China's Shadow should be read from Silicon Valley to the White House." - David B. Yoffie, Max & Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration, Harvard Business School
"In China's Shadow draws a path for an American Renaissance in response to China's rapid rise. Reed Hundt's new book combines lessons from history, technology and optimism with insights on every page." - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google
This book begins with an eye-opening exploration of the rise of Chinas economy and an assessment of its potential for further rapid growth. The implications of Chinas new power are nothing short of profound, Reed Hundt contends. In China's Shadow proceeds to paint a detailed landscape of the new reality confronting American businesses and citizens. For the first time in over one hundred years, Americans face critical challenges to their economy and way of life owing not only to Chinas impending economic might but also to the drift of U.S. business practices and government regulations over the past decade.
Aiming for a respectable defeat in the competition of nations will imperil not only the American Dream of an ever-increasing standard of living but also the American project itself, Hundt warns. Meeting the foreseeable challenges is not a matter of legislative strategy from the political left or right or prescriptive plans for businesses. The best chance for Americans to lead the world in job and wealth creation lies in an expanded and renewed culture of entrepreneurship. Hundt reviews the lessons of the 1990s, when the architectures of law, technology, and leadership produced a robust culture of entrepreneurship, and analyzes how entrepreneurship is being undermined today. He challenges Americans to do what they do bestadapt, invent, innovate, take risksand points the way for a reinvigorated entrepreneurial society.